In Greek the word “kosmima” comes from the verb “kosmo” which means adorn. Initially, Greek jewelry was simple compared to other cultures. Over the centuries, however, they have become more elaborate and impressive.
The progress of jewelry in Greece
The Minoan and Mycenaean civilization are famous for the jewelry they made. Minoans made exquisite chains of gold wire, while Mycenaeans made elaborate gold necklaces that today have artistic value. After the end of Mycenaean civilization follows the Geometric period where we had the ”Persian wars” and there was no development in the manufacture of jewelry.
From the 8th century BC. and then due to the colonies that were established from Central Asia to the Western Mediterranean and the development of trade with the East, we had new influences on Greek goldsmithing with new elements. Large impressive jewelry, forged with precious stones and enamel. Also appeared a technique called filigree , in which jewelry consists of hand-crafted wires.
In the 5th to 4th century BC. ”Victorious wars” bring more gold and goldsmithing grows even more. Jewelry with representations of people, flowers and animals. Snake jewelry make their first appearance.
During the reign and wars of conquest of Alexander the Great, gemstones and gold are abundant, thus establishing multicolor in jewelry (due to their decoration with precious and semi-precious stones).
Arriving in the Roman period, the conquest of Greece by the Romans does not bring Greek culture to an end. Instead it is adopted by them. At that time, pearls also appeared as decorative elements as well as the perforated technique (perforated coins passed in a thick chain that hung around the neck).
In the 10th and 11th centuries A.D we have the heyday of the Byzantine Empire. During this period, exceptional church jewelry was made and the profession of jeweler was considered one of the most noble.
Greek jewelry today
There are exceptional jewels today which are inspired by ancient Greece or have a strong Greek element which is based on Greek Tradition and Greek Myths.
For example, there is a large variety of ”Evil Eyes” which according to Greek tradition protect against evil, jealousy and bad energy. https://kspjewelry.com/woman-gold-necklaces/
There are also many jewels with representations and faces inspired by Greek Mythology. Pegasus, Medusa and the God Eros are some of them.
What myth say…
Pegasus was the son of Poseidon and Medusa. When it was born he ascended to Olympus, the seat of the immortals and resided in the service of Zeus used to transport lighting fron the laboratory of Hephaestus to Olympus. Pegasus symbolizes the sea cloud that carries the lighting of Zeus and they are perceived in the storm.
Medusa in Greek mythology was a mortal mermaid. Her beauty caught the attension of god Poseidon, who longed for her and isolated her in the sanctuary os the goddess Athena. The goddess sought revenge on Medusa by turning her hair into snakes in order to literally petrify anyone who looked at her in fear. When Peeseus beheaded Medusa, the coveted head was given to Athena, who imprinted it on her shield as a weapon. Although Medusa was described as a monster, her head was often regarded as an amulet to ward off evil.
In ancient Greek mythology, the god Eros is the son of Aphrodite and Aris. Eros represented passion and love, emotions that created life. An arrow from him was enough to create love.